San Francisco Resident Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Filing False Claims for Tax Refunds
SAN FRANCISCO - On June 19, 2013, Eric Flentoil pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison for access device fraud and filing false claims, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.
In pleading guilty, Flentoil admitted to filing a false 2011 income tax return using a stolen Social Security number and claiming a tax refund of $2,915. Unknown to Flentoil, the individual to whom the social security number belonged, had made a $40,000 estimated tax payment to the IRS for his 2011 taxes. Therefore, the IRS sent a $40,000 refund check, in the victim’s name, to the address on the false return, which was Flentoil’s home address. Flentoil used the victim’s name and social security number to open a bank account, deposit the $40,000 check, and obtain a debit card to access the funds. From June 1, 2012, through June 11, 2012, Flentoil used the debit card to withdraw funds and make purchases.
Flentoil also filed a false 2011 federal income tax return in his own name, receiving a $2,071 tax refund, to which he was not entitled.
Flentoil, age 31, of San Francisco, was indicted on March 19, 2013. He was charged with access device fraud, filing false claims, and aggravated identity theft. He pleaded guilty to access device fraud and filing false claims.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen following a guilty plea on two counts in violation of filing false claims in violation of Tile 18, United States Code, Section 287 and one count of access device fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(2). The Honorable Judge Chen also sentenced the defendant to 3 years of supervised release. Flentoil has been in custody since his arraignment and remains in custody to serve his sentence.
Cynthia Stier is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of a two month investigation by the IRS-CI.